Hands On: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Grained Dial in White GoldThe "Tuscan" returns.
Audemars Piguet (AP) just revealed its new launches for the year and one of the highlights is a new version of the classic Royal Oak “Jumbo”. Harking back to the uncommon “Tuscan” dial from three decades ago, the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Ultra-Thin in white gold boasts a grained blue dial.
At a distance, the new “Jumbo” looks like an average Royal Oak with its white metal case and blue dial. But on the hand, it is evidently different. It is still thin and elegant but wonderfully weighty thanks to the gold case and bracelet. Granted, the quintessential Royal Oak is a steel “Jumbo” but the white gold case leaves this feeling a bit more refined and sophisticated.
And then there’s the dial. With its granular surface, it is recognisably different from the average Royal Oak – and also easily beautiful. The PVD treatment gives it a gorgeous metallic blue that combines with the texture to catch the light nicely.
Although it is not a limited edition, this feels special, mostly due to the fact that it’s the only white gold “Jumbo” in the catalogue. There is another white metal “Jumbo” in the line up – the platinum model exclusive to AP Houses – but it has a green dial that feels a bit too fashionable. This grained blue dial, however, feels more like a classic.
The standard steel “Jumbo” is already an excellent watch, combining the perfect proportions of the original Royal Oak with the excellent cal. 7121. This version in white gold is arguably better with its discreetly patterned dial and the lustrous white gold case – but at a price of CHF65,000. It’s a substantial sum but in line with the “Jumbo” in pink or yellow gold, but this one is more special given the dial.
The grained dial is a departure from the petite tapisserie guilloche synonymous with the Royal Oak, but the stamped dial is historical, with roots in the “Tuscan” dials found on some Royal Oak models in the 1980s and 1990s.
While the origin of the nickname is lost to time, the “Tuscan” dial was reputedly the result of hand-hammering. Introduced sometime in the early 1980s, the “Tuscan” dial made its debut in AP’s round, classic perpetual calendar like the ref. 25657, but is now best known for being found in the Royal Oak perpetual calendar, like the ref. 25820 for instance. The dial was also found in the all-platinum Royal Oak “Jumbo” ref. 14802 Jubilee edition made for the model’s 30th anniversary.
Now AP has replicated the “Tuscan” dial with modern techniques. The dial of the new “Jumbo” is stamped to create a “finer and brighter” grain according to AP, and then treated with PVD to give it a rich blue shade, one that’s darker than vintage “Tuscan” dials. The result is a granular surface in deep blue that sparkles at certain angles.
Texture aside, the rest of the dial is standard “Jumbo” with a printed AP logo under 12 o’clock along with the applied emblem at six. And like other current “Jumbo” models, this has date disc that matches the deep blue of the dial.
Historically, the “Tuscan” dial is most often seen Royal Oak models in white metals, though a few examples in yellow gold exist. And so the modern-day grained dial is fittingly installed in a white gold case.
This is the only white gold Royal Oak “Jumbo” in the catalogue, but it is otherwise identical to other “Jumbo” ref. 16202 models. The dimensions are classic “Jumbo” and extremely elegant: 39 mm in diameter and 8.1 mm in height. But the case and bracelet in white gold give this a luxurious heft that is absent on the steel model, but without the ostentation of the yellow or pink gold variants.
Inside is the cal. 7121 that made its first appearance last year during the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary. It is just as thin as its predecessor, but far more user friendly. The cal. 7121 features a quick-set date, a power reserve of 55 hours (longish considering the thinness and size), and a full balance bridge that improves stability and shock resistance.
Key facts and price
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Ultra-Thin
Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 8.1 mm
Material: 18k white gold
Water resistance: 50 m
Movement: Cal. 7121
Functions: Hours, minutes, and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 55 hours
Strap: 18k white gold bracelet with folding clasp
Limited edition: No
Availability: At AP Houses and boutiques
Price: CHF65,000 (excluding VAT)
For more, visit Audemarspiguet.com.
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